Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finally Getting Up and Running...

This is my first post in quite a while. I just wanted you all to know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I've been building up the studio equipment in the past few months. Trying to get back into what I call a "normal" production studio.

Up until November I was using my trusty concrete slab (you can get them at Lowe's or Home Depot for about $20-$22) for wedging all of my clay as I do not have a pugmill. I had about a ton of clay given to me that was a bit harder than what i would normally throw with. So, I decided I should build a proper wedging table to help turn it back into throwing shape. I built the whole thing from 2X4's and made the pattern so that it would fit around my concrete slab. This surface comes ready made, it's absorbent like plaster slab, holds up better and it's really easy to replace if you need to. My desision was also influenced by the fact that my nearest plaster vendor is an hour south in Milwaukee (If there's someone closer feel free to leave me a comment). The whole thing cost about $16 US to build, if you don't count the paving slab, and it went together without incident. If any of you like what you see, let me know and I'll post the blueprints.

Anyway I digress...This table includes a wedging wire pictured below. If you've never used one you should think about trying it out. The wire basically takes the place of the paddles in a pugmill,  you slice the clay over the wire (fig 2.) turn the cut ends away from you and slam the pieces together again on the wedging table. Repeat this process at nauseum until you decide that your time would be better spent building yourself a pugmill (fig 3), then you're ready to compact the whole mass, give it a quick conk shell wedge (fig 4) and shape it for use (fig 5-fig 7). This batch was formed into a block for my extruder, for mugs I would just roll it into a log-like shape. 

Stay tuned for more updates...

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